Fox News has shared inventory reports from the Department of Homeland Security revealing a potential disaster in that hundreds of badges, guns, and cell phones belonging to employees have gone missing, or have been stolen, between 2012 and 2015.
According to source Complete Colorado, over 1,300 badges, 165 firearms and 589 cell phones are unaccounted for. Fox's reaction was most appropriate, as this information indeed raises "serious security concerns about the potential damage these missing items could do in the wrong hands."
Here are the DHS agencies affected: Customs and Border Protection, which holds the majority of credentials and guns missing, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The Transportation Security Administration also reports missing guns, as does ICE.
Experts aren't as worried about the cell phones as they are about the missing credentials. A retired Secret Service agent told FoxNews.com:
The thing that’s particularly concerning is that if you get real credentials, it’s very easy to manipulate them, and you’ve got someone else’s picture on what law enforcement would see as valid. Then you factor in terrorism, it’s a significant concern that people would run around with authentic credentials and be able to access areas they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.
So far, the DHS has not disputed the inventory losses, according to the report. Laughably, the only response Fox received from the department was the assurance that they strive to be "good stewards of government resources" with a promise that they've been doing better.
Legislators have jumped on this disaster approving a new law that aims to strengthen the screening process of TSA workers and other security protocols to ensure these items don't go missing in the future.
One of them, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said, "Officials entrusted with protecting the American public cannot consider the loss of sensitive items normal or routine."